Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What inspired you to start at Lola.com?
I started at a self-funded start-up technology company in 2000, where I was running an inside sales team and building digital properties to generate leads. I moved from print ads to digital and created targeted blogs for the various corporate divisions. Fast forward to online marketing research with MarketingSherpa, then HubSpot, SmartBear, Ipswitch (now Progress Software) – it remains a fantastic journey. Landing at Lola.com came down to a couple of factors: aligning myself with Ryan Ball in the Smarketing function (Sales and Marketing), and working for Mike Volpe again.
What is Lola.com? What are the core Marketing and Sales technologies that you offer to your customers?
Lola.com is a corporate Travel Management software platform that lets you book, manage, and report on corporate travel via expense integrations with companies like Expensify. We offer road warriors 24/7 support for those miserable days on the road when weather or airlines conspire to make your life difficult.
Which group of customers are the fastest to the adoption of Travel Management platforms? How does it impact B2B/B2C Branding and Marketing operations?
The persona that is most positively impacted by our platform is the Office Manager/Executive Assistant responsible for booking travel on behalf of team members. Finance leaders like Lola.com because of our integration with expense platforms, and they have the ability to see which employees and departments might be overspending or not adhering to a travel policy. Better to know what the spend is than waiting for expense reports. The #1 pet peeve of finance leaders is late expense reports.
What’s so different about being a CMO of an Online Travel Management platform compared to modern SaaS, and IT companies?
We are a SaaS company. Lola.com is based on optimal customer experience from their first look, to a sales demo, to onboarding, and to the service team. Lola.com is the highest-ranked Travel Management platform on third-party review sites like G2, Capterra, TrustPilot, and TrustRadius.
What is the relation between Influencing and Brand Loyalty? How does Lola.com play a role in sustaining Brand Loyalty?
We’re building our brand. We have an excellent team of UI experts and designers who have created a mobile app that is consumer-driven and easy to use. And we spend time learning what our customers want. Our customer success team works hard on getting our customers onboard and booking their travel on Lola.com. Influence is helping to get the brand visible, and we’re doing that with review sites and paid advertising.
What lessons can Social Media and Website Analytics teams learn from an Online Travel Management platform?
Our customers share their love of Lola.com with their followers. Imagine having a bad travel day, and Lola helps you get to your destination in time for a meeting or home in time for your daughter’s game. That’s what we do. That’s what we love to do.
Tell us about your technology integrations with other Marketing Technology platforms such as Contacts, Social Media, Automation, Contracts, Email, and Customer Service.
HubSpot CRM and HubSpot CMS. All of our contacts are in HubSpot. We share socially via HubSpot, we automate customer onboarding with triggered emails, we send prospects into lead nurture programs. We use HubSpot for everything.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
HubSpot. That’s all we need. Oh, and Drift. Drift is integrated with HubSpot, and we get leads, opportunities, and customers via Drift.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Event Marketing technology for 2019-2020?
Polling via a simple application like https://www.polleverywhere.com/ gives us the ability to ask questions and create feedback loops for attendees at live events. Otherwise, the simple, real-time badge scanning has made lead follow up so much better than business card collection!
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
Oh boy, where do I start? When you work for Mike Volpe, he’s got his eye on a lot. We’re constantly testing new applications to determine viability for our needs.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing Leader?
Pay attention. The MarTech stack can become unwieldy too easily. I’d rather cut from my stack. Every time I’ve joined a company and looked at the stack, it’s amazing how many products/software/services are no longer being used or leveraged. Constantly looking at what we need, what we want, and planning is critical to success.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Block time off on your calendar so you don’t get bogged down in meetings when you could be concentrating on thinking things through. Constant interruptions are challenging to overcome.
What are you currently reading?
Well, I read three chick-lit books over the weekend. Just to slow my brain down. I primarily consume business information via Blinkest. While I love business information, I don’t have the time or the bandwidth to read books like that for fun. So, I read shorter versions and buy the book if I want more. I also read the NY Times daily, the New Yorker, and my Google feed (which is sometimes annoying).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Learn how to speak in front of people.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read
Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing
Would you like us to recommend you as a Speaker to conferences relevant to your technology?
Sure. I love to talk about Lead Gen and Smarketing (Sales and Marketing alignment), in particular.
Thank you, Jeanne! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
As Chief Marketing Officer at Lola, Jeanne Hopkins leads both the company’s marketing organization, building a metrics-based powerhouse to fuel demand as well as its customer success organization, ensuring a great Lola customer experience. She was previously Executive Vice President and CMO at Ipswitch and has held executive marketing roles at HubSpot, Symmetricom (now Microsemi), SmartBear, MarketingSherpa, and Continuum.
At HubSpot, Jeanne’s leadership helped the company land on the number two spot on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies by generating 50,000 net new leads per month. Jeanne is also an accomplished writer, advisor, and speaker. She co-authored “Go Mobile,” a top-selling mobile marketing book on Amazon.com.
Jeanne serves on the Advisory Boards of BrightInfo, Bedrock Data, and Sales Lead Management Association. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the MassTLC Sales and Marketing Group. Jeanne has won many industry awards for her achievements as a marketing leader.
Lola.com is the new business travel initiative from Paul English, co-founder of KAYAK. Led by CEO Mike Volpe, previously CMO at HubSpot, Lola.com makes every facet of corporate travel easier. For the business travel manager, life becomes simpler with employee-friendly business travel policies, fun travel tracking tools, and transparent spend reporting.
For the business traveler, a modern app experience that allows easy flight and hotel booking, team destination sharing, loyalty points from the actual hotels and airlines, and 24/7 agent support. For the executive assistant, our book on behalf feature lets you easily book travel like a boss for your boss. Get ready to experience a travel management tool that works for employers AND employees.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.